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How To Raise More Money – It’s All About The Donor!

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Don’t leave donors wondering exactly how their gift was used by your organization. Image courtesy of The Better Fundraising Company


I love sharing information from colleagues in nonprofit fundraising that inspire me to inspire my clients.

Fundraising experts and friends Jim Shapiro and Steven Screen of The Better Fundraising Company in Seattle, Washington recently produced a short, informative video entitled “Big Picture Questions in Fall Fundraising Success” as part of their “Ask – Thank – Report – Repeat” video series that I just had to share with you.

In the video, they talk about some important questions to consider when evaluating and creating your fundraising communications:

  •  Are you giving your donors enough chances to help your beneficiaries?  Most organizations feel like they are asking too often, but this isn’t really the case. Most of the generic “here’s our newsletter” emails don’t include a direct ask, and usually organizations send more generic “look at the great work we have done” emails instead of “here’s a story of success that happened because of your gift.”
  • Do your donors know what happened because of their gifts? Do you tell them what happened,  but take the credit for it instead? Jim and Steven call this “Ask – Ask – Thank – Ask.”  Where is the reporting back? It needs to happen. Donors want to know what THEY accomplished with their gift, not what YOU as the organization accomplished with their gift.

They also recommend printing out your communications for the last 12 months, laying them out on a table, and then scanning them quickly with your eyes, because that’s what donors do. They don’t read every word.

Another tidbit from me – circle the word “you” everywhere in your communications and solicitation pieces.  There should be way more “yous” than “our program” or “our organization…”

Tell the important “before and after” stories of beneficiaries, and how the donor’s gift made the “after story” happen.

Take 5 minutes to watch their video here, and pause it and write down their questions and answers – it will be time well spent!

Wishing you greater nonprofit abundance and success!